Chandlers and other rubber stamps

Many retailers commissioned cards which were produced with their names. I regard them as publishers and have included them in the directory. However, many more simply bought and sold cards. Some of them stamped their details on the cards before passing them on. Other commercial users such as hotels added their names in this way. So too did some private individuals.

P Briault, Paris


Briault, 2 rue du Louvre, Paris, artist suppliers, opposite the Louvre Museum. This firm were retailers of artists’ materials between 1886 and 1906.

Paul Cézanne, (1839 to 1906) Léon-Germain Pelouse, (1 October 1838 to 31 July 1891) and Joaquín Sorolla Bastida (27 February 1863 to 10 August 1923) produced artwork, now in various galleries across the continent, on materials bearing the business’s marks including La Palette du Louvre.

Briault also sold artwork such as a Large French Late 19th Century Pompeian Style Painted Panel On Canvas in the manner of Percier et Fontaine the rectangular panel depicting classically draped female figures under a lambrequin, flanked to each side by a medallion of a putto, surmounted by urns and a peacock, within a surround of scrolling foliage, 296cm wide, 220cm high (116.5in wide, 86.5 in high).

James Davie, Glasgow, Scotland

  • James Davie, photographic dealer, 19 Gordon St

James Davie, Gordon St, Glasgow, photographic dealer, sold photo albums and advertised family and other photographs. Davie was in business by 1878. Davie applied a rubber stamp to undivided-backs postcards by a number of publishers including Tucks and published Annan & Co’s photographs of the Clyde as undivided-backs. A card with the stamp here.

Albergo Ginevra, Rome


Albergo Ginevra, 29 via della Vite, Rome, a hotel located at the central post office not far from the main train station. In the 1930s the hotel was owned by Giovanni Cazzola who, during this time progressed from Commander to Knight. The Italian actor, comedian, screenwriter, dramatist, poet, singer and lyricist Prince Totò (15 February 1898 to 15 April 1967) stayed in the hotel when performing in Rome and his daughter Liliana was born in a room there on 10 May 1933. It is currently a two-star hotel at 17 Via Luigi Pianciani.

This card: In 1905 Fenham Hall was purchased by the Society of the Sacred Heart to house a secondary school and a Teacher Training College: St Mary’s. The hall itself accommodated the convent and dormitories; further buildings were added for the school and lecture rooms. The Training College closed in 1984, but Sacred Heart Catholic High School remains. Since the closure of St Mary’s College the Hall and associated buildings have served as student accommodation for Newcastle University.

Reid’s Mount Park Hotel, Madeira


Mount Park Hotel, located east of the Parish Church, behind the Hotel Belmonte, at the beginning of Caminho das Babosas (Babosas path) Quinta Monteiro (Parish of Monte), Municipality of Funchal. Mount Park was one of the Reid chain of hotels in Madeira, announced the Brown’s Guide in 1901. The Hotel was a simple traditional Madeiran residence summarily equipped with a porch for a small outdoor bar. The railway line arrived at Largo das Fontes, at the site of Atalhinho where four hotels had been set up including the Mount Park.

Joaquim Augusto de Sousa and his wife D. Eugénia Maria de Sousa bought this property in December 1897. In April 1903, they leased the property to Alfred Edward Reid for a period of 12 years with effect from 1 December 1903 though the hotel had by then been operating for a couple of years. This card was written by the sender on 18 September 1901 and postally used on 23 September that year.

The hotel had a warning from William Reid not to give money for drink to the drivers. William James George Reid; Alfred Edward Reid of seven renowned personalities in Madeiran commerce and industry were presented as founding partners on December 23, 1905, of the private limited company Reid, Castro & Companhia Limitada.

On 24 of August 1904 the hotel was visited by Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein.

Source: A Arquitectura do Turismo Terapêutico Madeira e Canárias, 1800-1914 Arquitectura Teoria e História Rui Manuel Carneiro de Campos Matos; Arquivo e Biblioteca da Madeira; Arquivo de Joaquim Augusto de Sousa Catálogo 2019;

Bill Hopkins, London


Bill Hopkins (died 2013) was a London-based collector and dealer of long standing with a vast hoard of postcards built up over many years. He set up and ran the Postcard Collector’s Centre in Kensington. Hopkins personalised every card he bought/sold with a handstamp – sometimes twice or more – sometimes with his name etc., sometimes with the London Postcard Centre. In similar vein is the Hogsthorpe Horror (qv).

Source: PTA Postcard Pages

Henri Trillon

Mayenne, Pays de la Loire, France

  • HENRI TRILLON, 44, rue Ambroise de Loré MAYENNE (La Mayenne), FRANCE A.P.N. 1709

As M Trillon seems to have signed this card, it may be that the stamp is not a retailer’s mark but his personal identification. Mayenne is a department in northwest France named after the Mayenne River. It seems to have been a hotbed of the Trillon clan: Henri Marie Emile Trillon (17 December 1927 to 24 November 2019) and Roger Marie Emile Henri Trillon, (10 January 1922 to 9 June 2009) both died in Mayenne and could be descendants of the Henri Trillon in question. In September 1923 Henri Trillon was Mayenne race secretary at 15 place Juhel there while, to this day Therese Trillon trades as an estate agent from 44 rue Ambroise de Loré. None of this helps provide detail of the Henri Trillon who put his stamp on my card and the APN number is also a mystery.


Quite a number of undivided backs from the first years of the twentieth century were stamped with the business details of a ship chandler. These included J C van der Rest of Dordrecht in Netherlands and the others on this page. They did not publish cards; they may have sold them or given them away as promotional items.

Francesco de Luca

Francesco de Luca, ship chandler and steam ship agent, Strada Piliero N.26 Naples stamped this card before selling or giving it to customers.

George A Hardy & Co

Port Said, Egypt


George A. Hardy & Company, ships’ supplier, Port Said had the telegraphic address Hardy, Port Said in 1912. In November 1924 the Sphinx journal announced the engagement of Mr and Mrs Hardy’s only daughter Evelyn to Mr Walter Bond, the joint manager of the Port Said and Suez Coal Co.

According to the US Office of Naval Intelligence Port Guide in 1928, Hardy was one of the principal sources of ships’ supplies in Suez where engineering supplies were said to be limited but chandler supplies and provisions plentiful and reasonably priced. In 1939 Hardy was living at maison Simonini, rue Kitchener and was Vice-President of the Union Club, of Port Said at 34, rue Fouad Ier, 2311 where Evelyn Waugh had stayed when he visited Port Said.

Hardy Ship Suppliers are now a part of Mosleh Group shipping agency.

London Coal Company, Gibraltar


The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 made it convenient for ships using it to reach the Far East to call at Gibraltar to replenish supplies and it became a significant coaling station for merchant and military ships, removing the port’s night time closing to facilitate the business. Many of the coal-carriers were from Spain and Malta. Before and after WWI, the coal-carriers were often in dispute about wages and conditions and regularly on strike.

London Coal Company were a subsidiary of Lambert Brothers Limited of London. That company has its origins in the formation of Lambert, Ridley and Company, coal factors and ship and insurance brokers in 1845. By 1869, the name had changed to Lambert Brothers and Scott, with a head office at 85, Gracechurch Street, City of London. It expanded and moved into other areas of business including the merchanting and exporting of coal, ownership of carrying vessels, insurance of ship and cargo, and purchase and sale of ships.

Lamberts established a coaling depot at Gibraltar, called the London Coal Company, for the supply of bunker coal to merchant vessels of all nationalities.

With a view to overcoming difficulties in the supply of coal to ships at Gibraltar during the WWI, a pooling agreement to operate from 1st January, 1918, was entered into between the coal merchants at Gibraltar, including Lambert Brothers and the Ministry of Shipping, under which the merchants administered the coal supplies as a pool and their remuneration therefor was limited to 10s. a ton to cover profit, hulkage, labour, establishment and all other charges. When the pool was closed on 15th March, 1919, the actual stock of coal remaining in hand was very considerably greater than the closing stock shown by the books of the pool giving rise to a dispute about tax.

In the 1930s London Coal had a standard form of contract whereby they undertook to supply to the steamers of companies at Gibraltar “… such quantities of Welsh or Durham coal as are normally required and taken by such steamers coaling en route in the customary manner.” When difficult conditions arose in February to May, 1937 regarding supplies of bunker coal, and the company bought cargoes of Westphalian coal to try to remedy the deficiency in their supplies, litigation still followed.

In 1950 they described themselves as Incorporated with London Coal Company of Gibraltar Ltd,

Sources: Gibraltar Intro; London Metropolitan Archives; LAMBERT BROS., LTD. V THE COMMISSIONERS OF INLAND REVENUE High Court Irish Free State 1930; Pool Shipping Company, Ltd. v London Coal Company of Gibraltar, Ltd. (1939) 63 Ll.L.Rep. 268

Captain F. Valle & Company

La Spezia, Liguria, Italy


La Spezia is the capital city of the province of La Spezia and is located at the head of the Gulf of La Spezia in the southern part of the Liguria region of Italy. It is one of the main Italian military and commercial harbours, a major Italian Navy base and a significant railway junction.

Sailor Tommy sent this card from La Spezia to Miss Fry, Schoolmistress at the Garrison Infants School in Curragh Camp, County Kildare, Ireland.